[cabfpub] [EXTERNAL]Re: Ballot SC10 – Establishing the Network Security Subcommittee of the SCWG

Tim Hollebeek tim.hollebeek at digicert.com
Fri Sep 14 17:38:29 UTC 2018

What the Bylaws actually say is:


“5.3.4 Legacy Working Groups Any “Legacy” Working Groups (“LWG”) in existence when this Bylaws v.1.8 is approved by the Forum shall have the option of (a) converting to a Subcommittee under a CWG pursuant to Section 5.3.1(e), (b) immediately terminating, or (c) continuing in effect without change for 6 months following such approval. For an LWG to continue beyond such 6 months, it must have a charter approved as described in Section 5.3.1 above, as if it was a new Working Group.”


The Validation Working Group has expressed its intention to become a Subcommittee at every opportunity.  Those who continually seek to deny it that option are clearly in violation of the Bylaws.


Once again, the Validation Working Group has selected option (a).  If we want a Ballot to confirm that, we can have a ballot, but I will not allow members to obstruct the LWG’s right to choose option (a), a right the Working Group clearly has, as stated in the Bylaws.




From: Public <public-bounces at cabforum.org> On Behalf Of Ryan Sleevi via Public
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2018 1:22 PM
To: Kirk Hall <Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com>; CABFPub <public at cabforum.org>
Subject: Re: [cabfpub] [EXTERNAL]Re: Ballot SC10 – Establishing the Network Security Subcommittee of the SCWG




You have a real opportunity to resolve these issues, and I hope you will incorporate that feedback into consideration. There are now multiple threads, in part because some of your forked replies, but to summarize where we stand:


Nothing in the Bylaws requires resolution on/by October 3, other than that they will cease to be LWGs.

While no longer LWGs, if they choose to be subcommittees, then it has to be done using the process defined by the SCWG.

The SCWG has not defined or balloted its process for these.

If you're proposing that these ballots use an assumed process that is not specified, we're opposed and remain opposed, because having the Forum and the Chair make up process continues to undermine the legitimacy of the Forum and its value, needlessly and irresponsibly.


If you feel it's important to establish these before Oct 3 - which it isn't, procedurally - then one path you can do that can resolve the feedback and concerns is to actually spell out the things you are assuming, such as that subcommittees will produce minutes, operate on public lists, allow participation, etc. This is not difficult, it's just more work - but that's the cost of doing things right, you sometimes have to put a bit of effort in to do it right.


As you can see from those minutes, this has been known to be a problem for months. The proposal was simple: "Dimitris again noted that new Bylaw 5.3.1(e) did not provide for a method for creating Subcommittees, and maybe the Bylaws or Charter should be amended to provide a method, and Wayne agreed."


There's still no definition for how the Subcommittee will operate, and that should be in the ballot to form it, since the Chair did not propose a ballot based on the Doodle Poll that the Chair conducted for a matter the Chair brought to resolve.


On Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 1:08 PM Kirk Hall via Public <public at cabforum.org <mailto:public at cabforum.org> > wrote:

Exactly right.  To add one other point – I am the one who proposed we allow “Subcommittees” in the new Working Groups during the early discussions in the Governance Change Working Group that led to Ballot 206.  I chose the name “Subcommittee” to avoid confusion (as we were now using the term “Working Group” to refer to the main group that needed Subcommittees to do preliminary work on ballot proposal), but I made it clear at the time that the new Subcommittees of the new Working Groups would function exactly the same as the old Working Groups of the Forum.  There was no confusion or argument on this point among the Governance Change participants.


I personally don’t see the need for yet more work to further define Subcommittees in the Bylaws, but will not object if others want to work on that.  In the meantime, we need to move forward on creating the Validation and NetSec Subcommittees so they can continue their work after October 3 (and can meet as part of the Tuesday agenda at the Shanghai F2F meeting next month).  Those who don’t like the process can always vote no.


I will present a revised draft of SC9 and SC10 later today taking into account the comments already received.


From: Dimitris Zacharopoulos [mailto:jimmy at it.auth.gr <mailto:jimmy at it.auth.gr> ] 
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2018 10:43 PM
To: Ryan Sleevi <sleevi at google.com <mailto:sleevi at google.com> >; CA/Browser Forum Public Discussion List <public at cabforum.org <mailto:public at cabforum.org> >; Kirk Hall <Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com <mailto:Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com> >
Subject: [EXTERNAL]Re: [cabfpub] Ballot SC10 – Establishing the Network Security Subcommittee of the SCWG


It looks like a similar conversation was captured in the minutes of previous Server Certificate WG teleconferences.

*	https://cabforum.org/2018/07/12/2018-07-12-scwg-minutes/ where the ambiguity on how to form subcommittees was first raised
*	https://cabforum.org/2018/07/26/2018-07-26-server-certificate-working-group-minutes/ where the members expressed their opinion (via doodle poll) and the majority chose to resolve this ambiguity by requiring ballots for the formation of subcommittees in the SCWG.

IMO, members are in favor of ballots to resolve issues like this. The definition of a subcommittee is broad enough and described in 5.3.1(e) "to address any of such CWG's business". It is very clear to me that both proposed subcommittees (validation and NetSec) are within the SCWG's scope.

I thought we had agreed that until the SCWG charter is amended (to include language around subcommittees, election of officers and other issues that were discussed in previous calls), we would proceed with using ballots as the agreed-upon decision making process. I understand that Kirk's proposed ballots (as a process) are aligned with this decision. The content of the ballots (whether or not we will name "chairs", etc for subcommittees) is debatable and under discussion.

As a general comment, I would like to note that the majority of Contributions were taking place during "Legacy Working Groups" with the previous governance. These "officially declared" teams had great momentum, produced a lot of improvements to the Forum's Guidelines, met regularly and were coordinated by one or two people that facilitated the discussions and provided the necessary logistics (calendar scheduling, agendas, minutes and so on). I can't imagine that the Governance change intended to make things so hard to form these currently-called "subcommittees". In case of doubt, ballots were always a good way forward, unless they propose something that is clearly against the Bylaws.  


On 14/9/2018 3:43 πμ, Ryan Sleevi via Public wrote:


On Thu, Sep 13, 2018 at 8:39 PM Kirk Hall <Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com <mailto:Kirk.Hall at entrustdatacard.com> > wrote:

Thanks for the list, Wayne.  Responses inline.  Remember, a Subcommittee has no real power, it’s just a place where members interested in a subject who want to be involved in drafting proposals for the whole SCWG can work together – we have 10+ years of successful experience with this approach, and are just continuing it at the SCWG level.


[Wayne] To respond to Kirk's question about subjects that need to be better defined, here is a start:


* Do Subcommittees have Chairs and if so how are they appointed?  [KH] Yes, for the same reason we had Chairs for old-style Working Groups of the Forum.  There is no change here (BTW, our Bylaws didn’t include rules for old WG Chairs either – somehow it all worked out).  Dean has correctly listed what a Chair does. 


This answer doesn't suffice, because our new Bylaws do change things substantially, and the reasons for the old structure of WGs doesn't just naturally change to SCWGs.


* How are Subcommittees chartered? (are they chartered?)  [KH] Same as in the past when we created old-style WGs of the Forum – by ballots, in this case SCWG ballots.  No change here.


This is half correct, but misses the point of the question. The SCWG is responsible for defining how Subcommittees are created, per our Bylaws - and it has not. Yet.


* What are the required contents of a Subcommittee charter?  [KH] Same as in the past when we created old-style WGs of the Forum – by ballot language.  We never had problems in drafting the ballots that created old WGs of the Forum – see Ballots 109, 128, 138, 143, 165, and 203.  No change here.  What problem do you see from following our past procedure?


Obviously, there's nothing you can point to support this interpretation, and your interpretation itself isn't supported by the Bylaws, because the SCWG does not define what you just stated.



* How are Subcommittees operated?  [KH] In the same fashion as old WGs of the Forum were operated – teleconferences and informal procedures.  No change here. 


Again, this is not consistent with the Bylaws. This is your proposed path, but this is not the defined path.



* What information is public/private? Do they have their own mailing lists?  [KH] Same as the way information was handled for the old WGs of the Forum – I think old WG information has always been posted to the Public list, so the new Subcommittees will simply post to the SCWG list, which is public.  No change here.


Again, this is not consistent with the Bylaws. This is your proposed path, but this is not the defined path.


* How are Subcommittees dissolved?  [KH] In the same fashion as old WGs of the Forum were handled.  If a Subcommittee has no work to do, it can stop meeting until it has more work, or I suppose we can have a new ballot to dissolve the Subcommittee, if we care.  Most Subcommittees will have ongoing work to do (Validation, NetSec), so should be perpetual.  We may create other Subcommittees that should have a specific termination date in the ballot that creates the Subcommittee it if we believe that is appropriate, as we did once in the past.  No change here.


Again, this is not consistent with the Bylaws. This is your proposed path, but this is not the defined path.

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